put yourself ahead of the pack
an experience that will last a lifetime
Our placement programme offers students an unrivalled experience working with experts on a wide range of species and making a real difference to conservation in West Africa. We stay in local family compounds through the Gunjur Development Association (read more below) in the friendly, lively coastal village of Gunjur, renowned for its abundance of wildlife, and close to our own nature reserve. A great base for exploring The Gambia!
Our placements will provide you with the practical know-how and ability to carry out a wide range of techniques applicable to a career in conservation as well as life experiences in self-confidence, public speaking, problem-solving and leadership. The level of responsibility given to you throughout our research projects will be based on your current skills, experience and knowledge to ensure you get as much out of your placement as possible.
It will also give you the invaluable opportunity to take part in ground-breaking research, for example increasing the known population of an Endangered (EN) primate by 24%! Data collected has also contributed to numerous significant scientific papers and rediscovering several species thought to be extinct in The Gambia and even one thought to be extinct globally!
As well as all of this, you will be encouraged to spend your free time immersing yourself in the local Gambian culture. You will have the option to visit local schools, arts and crafts markets, take up dance lessons, experience local Gambian food and drinks and visit the white sandy beaches. There's nothing better than watching the sunset with a bonfire after a busy day of research!
For further information or specific queries regarding our 2022 placement opportunities, please email us at email@example.com and one of our friendly team will get back to you.
Vital conservation research
Work with experts
From only £220 per week!
A range of projects and species
Priceless practical experience
Flexible dates to suit you
Being a part of the change
Research activities will vary from week to week, between different seasons and individual preferences. Core activities are usually carried out between dawn and dusk and involve a lot of survey work (see examples below). Students also help out at our tree nursery and nature reserve where they help us re-establish an area of fast-disappearing coastal forests and create eco-attractions by servicing feeding stations for bushbabies, genets etc.
Example research projects:
Fishery surveys for elasmobranchs and bycatch
Camera trapping unsurveyed forests for possible new species
Transects of Critically Endangered (CR) hooded vultures
Individual identification of Critically Endangered (CR) dolphins
Primate surveys (e.g. Critically Endangered (CR) Temminck's red colobus and bushbaby)
Designing and improving/creating forests
You can read more on our projects and publications here.
local family compounds
Our placements include a short stay with our partners at Gunjur Project Lodge for team building and orientation before transferring to one of our handpicked families via Gunjur Development Association (GDA). Our family compounds receive a full assessment and hosts have attended training sessions on food safety, basic first aid, emergency response, child and vulnerable adult safeguarding and transport safety. You will receive placement management, support and documented meetings to discuss your stay from our Project Wild Gambia team.
DATES AND costs
Our placements start from only £220 per week, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis (please enquire for details). The weekly cost covers accommodation, breakfast and dinner, bottled water, all transport in The Gambia (airport transfers, safaris, creek crawls, boat trips to the Bijol Islands etc.) and project-related costs (research permits, park entrance fees, guides etc.). Our start dates, durations and individual project focus is completely flexible and will be arranged to best suit you and your personal interests (given it is viable). Priority will be given to applicants seeking to join us for longer stays (10+ weeks), the longer you are there, the more good we can do! Shorter stays (2-5 weeks) can also be made possible upon enquiry.
Your involvement in a Project Wild Gambia placement provides a huge contribution to the conservation of West African wildlife, the locals' quality of life and the Gambian economy. The data that you collect for our ongoing research projects allows us to protect the numerous ecosystems from current threats of deforestation, poaching and climate change (e.g. extended dry seasons). We accomplish this by monitoring populations, discovering new species, regenerating, extending and protecting degraded forest areas and creating a new understanding of a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and the local wildlife.
You can read more on the 'Our Contributions' page.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications for 2022 placements are now open!
Please download and complete our application form. You will also need to send in a one-page cover letter detailing why you would benefit from a Project Wild Gambia placement opportunity. Once you have completed your application form and your cover letter, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch. Best of luck!